Our new preaching theme for the first half of 2019, “Knowing God,” contradicts the prevailing view of a sceptical world that God is deaf, mute, and dumb. No, God is alive and has revealed himself to us! The writer of Hebrews declares, “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Heb 1:1-2).
In these last days (i.e., today), he has spoken and is speaking through Jesus Christ. This is not past tense but present. Verse 3 states, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” The writer of Hebrews is very careful to distinguish between these two types of revelation—the past and the present. If you study this letter, you will know that it is a long discourse that shows how Jesus Christ is superior to anything in the Old Testament. That means the revelation in Jesus Christ is better than anything that came before. God used to speak through the prophets, but today, even better, he now speaks through his Son.
How does God speak by Jesus? God speaks to us by his Son through his Spirit in the Bible. Paul explains, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16). The Bible is divine revelation, because it was given through a process called “inspiration.” The way in which the Bible describes this revelation is to say “Therefore, the Holy Spirit says” (Heb 3:7). The reason why we have to depend upon the Holy Spirit to speak through Scripture is because humans—in our unregenerate condition—cannot comprehend the spiritual nature of God’s word.
People come to know God not through his or her own wisdom but through God’s word, not through human reason but through divine revelation. Paul says, “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught by the human wisdom but in words taught us by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words” (1 Cor 2:12-13).
We can know God, because his word is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword. It is alive. The conclusion is that the Bible speaks to us today. The Holy Spirit speaks to us today in the Bible. The Son speaks to us today through the Holy Spirit in the Bible. The Bible is not just about what God has said, but what God is saying.